Manteca High coach Tim Horning sat at the end of the bench, head buried into his hands while his players settled into their seats on the other end of the court between the second and third games.
WESTON RANCH – This Valley Oak League season had been full of firsts for the Weston Ranch Cougars, and if the season were to end today they would be in first-place. But the team's business is far from done, as it took a gigantic step towards their goal with a 3-2 win over Sierra High Tuesday.
Ripon Christian's first stint through the Southern League has become as routine as bumping, setting and spiking.
The Southern League has not treated its newest member too kindly, as the Ripon Christian Knights ran into another one-sided defeat, 8-1 against visiting Gustine Tuesday.
The Manteca High cross-country team made a trip to the coast for the 39th Annual Half Moon Bay Artichoke Cross Country Invitational Saturday, competing against several programs at Half Moon Bay High.
After getting pushed round in two losses to start the match, East Union held a five-point lead with five points to go but couldn't finish the deal in a 3-0 loss to the visiting Oakdale Mustangs Thursday at the Dalben Center.
Weston Ranch mounted spirited comebacks in the first three games, but when intra-district host Sierra High attempted its own in the fourth the Cougars calmly put the finishing touches in their thrilling victory - 25-23, 24-26, 26-24, 25-19.
Manteca High still hasn't gotten over the hump, but coach Tim Horning saw some encouraging things out of his team in a three-game loss - 19-25, 12-25, 18-25 - to Valley Oak League defending champion Sonora Thursday at Winter Gym.
At this point, Ripon High will take goals any way it can get them.
East Union went to work on the Old River Golf Course front nine, beating the Jaguars 220-330 in their Valley Oak League meeting Thursday.
The East Union High varsity girls golf squad improved to 7-0 in the Valley Oak League, defeating Sonora Wednesday at the Manteca Park Golf Course.
East Union High varsity boys soccer squad maintained its first-place hold Wednesday in the Valley Oak League by blanking Sonora, 3-0.
MODESTO – The Sierra High varsity girls cross country team led the pack at Wednesday's Valley Oak League meet at Legion Park.
There were several stretches during Tuesday's Sierra-Manteca volleyball match when the two teams would exchange unforced errors, essentially handing each other free points.
RIPON – It may have taken the Ripon Christian Knights a little longer than planned, but the squad's 5-0 Southern League victory over Turlock Christian Tuesday came at the perfect time.
Sierra was playing its seventh game in as many days Monday.
Shannon Wesley led a balanced attack with nine kills, and Emily O'Brien anchored Ripon's defensive effort as the Indians coasted past visiting Sierra 25-16, 25-7, 25-15 in a nonleague match Monday.
No one drew a tougher assignment to start the Valley Oak League boys soccer season than Manteca.
McKenna Doyle became the third different low medalist of the season for Sierra in the team's fourth Valley Oak League match Monday.
The Valley Oak League uses a points-based system to determine its MVP.
Manteca registered its second 9-0 win of the week Thursday when it shut out visiting East Union in Valley Oak League action.
Francisco Cisneros summed up Weston Ranch's final nonleague match of the season in one word:
Los Banos checked into its nonleague match with visiting East Union holding a deceiving 4-6 record.
Jack Miller recently retired from Manteca High, where the History teacher spent more than 30 years as an assistant coach with the football team. Miller was a part of four Sac-Joaquin Section championship teams and was twice voted Best of Manteca's Best Local Coach. Now City of Manteca Hall of Famer pays close attention to his yards, his golf game and granddaughter.
The Manteca High boys soccer team took full advantage of its first practice in nearly a week.
Ripon Christian laughs last.
RIPON - The hole was just too deep for Ripon's volleyball team to climb out of.
East Union's grueling opening week of the season may have done it some good.
Sierra's girls golf team opened the Valley Oak League with a statement Tuesday at Dryden Park Golf Course in Modesto.
East Union's 8-1 victory, its first of the Valley Oak League season, looks one-sided at the surface, but visiting Lathrop made the Lancers work for it on Tuesday.